February 04, 2023
A Northeast Philadelphia hotel owner was ordered to pay $24 million to eight sex trafficking victims. The Days Inn, located at 4200 Roosevelt Blvd., was used to force underage girls into sexual activity for over three years.
The money will be split among the women after a civil lawsuit was settled in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, NBC10 reported.
The girls between 14 and 17 were forced into sexual activity, physically abused, and held captive in hotel rooms for weeks. The leaders of the trafficking ring kept all the money earned from the encounters.
The lawsuit alleged that the hotel knew what was happening and did nothing to stop it. In addition, an employee and security officer working at the hotel were complicit in the activities and helped hide the ring from police, the Inquirer reported.
"The victimization of these young girls should not be tolerated. The criminal process has punished the traffickers," Nadeem Bezar, an attorney representing the women in the trial, said. "It's now time to hold the hotel owners accountable. Plain and simple, this type of activity should not be allowed to go on anywhere."
In April 2019, the Days Inn and Roosevelt Inn motel were listed in a lawsuit by two women who alleged they were coerced into trafficking while the businesses turned the other way.
The girls who were part of the foster care system were lured by the men who posted sex ads with photos of the girls and women and included the hotels online for customers. The lawsuit alleged that the girls would speak to housekeepers and front desk staff who knew they were involved in illegal prostitution for money.
"I think that owners were either aware or should have been aware of what was going on on their property," Bezar said at the time of the lawsuit filing." "When you have these young kids walking up and down your hallways scantily dressed, visibly involved in some activity, you can't turn a blind eye to this activity," he added. "You're supposed to do something to stop it, and they didn't."
Four men were arrested in connection with the trafficking ring.
In November 2013, Craig Johnson was sentenced to 24 years in prison for two counts of sex trafficking of minors. Johnson was alleged to have lured 15 and 16-year-olds into his ring and created ads showcasing the girls as available for prostitution.
In September 2014, Rashaad McIntyre of Philly was sentenced to 22 years after pleading guilty to charges of sex trafficking and producing child pornography. In addition, he pocketed 100% of the money earned from illegal sex acts. U.S. District Court Judge Joel H. Slomsky ordered McIntyre to pay $125,600 in restitution to the victims and ordered 20 years of supervised release.
In April 2019, Adrian Palmer, who worked as the security guard at the Days Inn, was sentenced to 80 months in prison for conspiring in the sex trafficking of girls under 18. Palmer protected the trafficking ring leaders and was paid by Johnson for advice on running the operation. Palmer was ordered to pay $1,400 in restitution and must register as a sex offender when released from prison.
In June of 2016, Jerel Jackson got a 30-year prison sentence for sex trafficking of minors and adults by force.